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The University of Nebraska Performance Nutrition Department is committed to meeting the nutritional needs of athletes. We seek to meet these needs through assessment, education, and implementation of proper nutritional practices. We are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, continued education, and scientific research in the field of sports nutrition.

Nutrition is a vital piece of the puzzle for optimum sports performance. Proper fueling before and during competition can give you the competitive advantage you need to succeed. Learning how to fuel your body correctly before or after workouts and throughout the day will enhance your body's ability to recover from training and maximize your physical development. For these reasons, the University of Nebraska places a huge importance on nutrition. Nebraska was one of the first Universities to employ a full-time sports nutritionist to work directly with athletes. Currently, it is one of only three Universities in the country to have three full time sports dietitians on staff.

Below, you will find more information and photos that will give you a better understanding of all the University of Nebraska has available for you and your nutrition needs.


Individualized Meal Plans

Nebraska's Sports Dietitians work directly with the athletes, helping them to meet their physical and training goals to take their performance to the next level. Their purpose is to not only guide athletes on what to eat, but why to eat it. They provide 1-on-1 counseling, developing individualized meal plans for all athletes based on their individual needs, training goals, and competition fueling.

Body Composition Testing

Another tool the sports nutrition programs offers is body composition testing. Both sports dietitians perform routine individual and team testing for athletes. Results are combined with individualized meal plans to help athletes achieve both their physical and training goals. 

Competition Fueling

The Sports Dietitians coordinate competition fueling for multiple sports. A number of different nutritional products are provided for athletes before and during competition. Athletes work closely with both sports dietitians to develop an individualized fueling plan for competition that ensures they are drinking adequate amounts of fluids, consuming adequate electrolytes, and also getting the right amounts of protein and carbohydrates to enhance performance while limiting muscle damage during competition. 


A number of specialized education tools are provided at Nebraska to ensure that you understand what, why, and how to implement proper fueling in your life. Cooking Classes, Eating Out guides and Grocery Store tours assist athletes in knowing what foods to buy and how to prepare them. Nutrition tips, Tweets (linked to twitter) and a number of handouts on various nutrition related topics are also available for student-athletes. Both sports dietitians also provide tailored team talks for teams.

Additional NCAA Legislative Changes

New NCAA legislation enables institutions to enhance snacks and meals provided to student-athletes. As part of those new legislative changes, Nebraska Athletics is projecting a budget increase of approximately $1.12 million to the overall Lewis Training Table (dining facility) and Performance Nutrition program. To help address weekend nutritional needs, Nebraska Athletics created the Husker Bucks Program. This program gives student-athletes funds ($10/Saturday and $10/Sunday) for snacks at select area restaurants. Additionally, all student-athletes (scholarship and non-scholarship) are offered a morning pre-/post-workout meal during the academic year and all student-athletes will be offered a summer Lewis Training Table meal.

Other Sports Nutrition Services Provided

  • Hydration Protocols
  • Injury Nutrition
  • Special Dietary Needs (i.e. vegetarian, gluten-free diets, PCOS, food allergies, IBS, diabetes, anemia, high cholesterol, etc)
  • Disordering Eating Counseling (Sports Psychologist on staff as well)
  • Specific Female Nutritional Concerns
  • Dietary & Supplement Evaluation



The Landing, established in 2005, and the Oasis, established in 2011, serve as fueling points for all athletes before, during, and after training. The Landing is located in North Stadium while the Oasis is housed in the Hendricks Training Complex. Both areas provide a number of different options including chocolate milk, recovery shakes, energy bars, bagels, fruits, nuts, and Gatorade for student athletes.  As part of their individualized meal plans, athletes are prescribed a unique BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER workout fueling plan utilizing the products offered at the landing. Multi-vitamins are also provided to ensure athletes are meeting their nutrient needs.  Student-Nutrition volunteers assist in managing both areas and help prepare specialized nutritional shakes and recovery drinks for student-athletes. 



Effective for the 2018-19 Academic School Year: Effective immediately, dining at the Lewis Training Table will be included only with meal plans contracted to student athletes. Non-student athletes, as well as non-Athletics faculty and staff, will not be able to dine at the Lewis Training Table. The change is being made consistent with NCAA legislation regarding “meals and snacks incidental to participation." Questions about the policy change can be directed to Dave Ellis, Nebraska Athletics, 402-472-2356.

In 1940, Nebraska was one of the first Universities to provide a Training Table for the athletes. The Lewis Training Table first opened in 1985 and  offers lunch and dinner meals for student-athletes. The Training Table prides itself in providing the highest quality foods for athletes to enhance performance. All the foods served in the Training Table are labeled with a specialized food labeling system that helps athletes understand what foods they need to consume and the appropriate quantities to meet their individual nutritional needs. Dale Kruse, Training Table Director, oversees the foodservice operation and has over 15 years of experience running Nebraska's unique, one of a kind, Training Table. The training table also features an Executive Chef, Michael Steele, who oversees all food production and recipe development. Together, the Sports Nutritionist, Director, and Executive Chef collaborate in creating the menus and choosing high quality, performance based foods for the athletes.





At Nebraska, we have a FOOD FIRST policy. There are thousands of different supplements on the market today. Our job is to ensure the athlete is safe. The Sports Dietitian reviews all supplements to ensure the supplement does not contain, or could potentially contain, a banned drug. If athletes come to the Sports Dietitian with any inquiries regarding sports supplements, only supplements with significant research suggesting performance or health benefits and those certified through NSF Certified for Sport will be recommended.

Remember - Supplements only compliment a solid diet.

Our staff

 Dave Ellis

  Dave Ellis
  Director of Performance Nutrition
  (402) 472-2356  |  Meet Dave
 Lisa Kopecky

  Lisa Kopecky
  Assistant Director of Performance Nutrition
  (402) 472-2237  |  Meet Lisa
 Jake Blattner

  Jake Blattner
  Performance Nutrition Coordinator  |  Meet Jake
 Nuwanne Kirihennedige

  Nuwanee Kirihennedige
  Performance Nutrition Coordinator  |  Meet Nuwanee
 Dale Kruse

  Dale Kruse
  Training Table Manager
  (402) 472-2813  |  Meet Dale
 Mike Steele

  Mike Steele
  Culinary Manager & Executive Chef
  (402) 472-7884  |  Meet Mike
 Mary Timblin   Mary Timblin
Sports Nutrition Administrative Assistant
  (402) 472-2813  |  Meet Mary
 Deveron Baxter

  Deveron Baxter
  Training Table Team Leader
  (402) 472-2813  |  Meet Deveron

  Anthony Shepherd
  Supply & Distribution Clerk
  (402) 472-2813  |  Meet Anthony
 Terri Collins

  Terri Collins
  Dish Room Supervisor
  (402) 472-2813
    Willard Scheele
  Dish Room Supervisor
  (402) 472-2813
    Connie Aipperspach
  Dining Service Associate
  (402) 472-2813  |  
 Shawn Gariboy   Shawn Gariboy
  Dining Service Associate
  (402) 472-2813  |  Meet Shawn
 Nancy Hamann   Nancy Hamann
  Dining Service Associate
  (402) 472-2813  |  Meet Nancy
 Ruth Hood   Ruth Hood
  Dining Service Associates
  (402) 472-2813  |  Meet Ruth
    Schuyler Hoffer
  Dining Service Associate
  (402) 472-2813
    MayGan Luhr
  Dining Service Associate
  (402) 472-2813  |  Meet MayGan
 Jennifer Matlock   Jennifer Matlock
  Dining Service Associate
  (402) 472-2813  |  Meet Jennifer
 Maria Perez-Segovia   Maria Perez-Segovia
  Dining Service Associate
  (402) 472-2813  |  Meet Maria
 Kathryn Swanson   Kathryn Swanson
  Dining Service Associate
  (402) 472-2813  |  Meet Kathryn


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